Navient, formerly a part of Sallie Mae, services about $300 billion in student loans — or about 12 million borrowers.
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The nation’s largest student loan servicing company is eyeing new acquisitions and could soon be handling your loan repayments.
The day after disclosing plans to buy a $6.9 billion education loan portfolio from JPMorgan Chase, Navient said it continues to explore new acquisitions. Potential targets include “a number of banks” with portfolios of federally guaranteed student loans, as well as private loans, company CEO and President Jack Remondi told financial analysts during a Wednesday conference call.
The prospect of Navient growing even bigger was counterbalanced by downbeat first-quarter earnings the Wilmington, Del.-based company announced after financial markets closed Tuesday. Shares of Navient (NAVI) closed 0.4% higher at $15.11 Wednesday, after recovering from earlier declines.
The deal with JPMorgan (JPM) is expected to push the cumulative total of federal loans serviced by Navient to nearly $300 billion, the highest in the company’s 40-year history of servicing such debts, said Christian Lown, the company’s newly-appointed chief financial officer. The transaction follows Navient’s 2014 similar acquisition of an $8.5 billion portfolio of federally-guaranteed student loans from Wells Fargo (WFC).
The package consists of roughly $3.7 billion in federally guaranteed student loans, including $1.6 billion that have been securitized, plus $3.2 billion in private education loans. The transaction will be financed by existing lines of credit, excess capital and new borrowing, the company said. Expected to close during this year’s second quarter, the deal will boost Navient’s earnings per share by 9 cents in 2017, Lown predicted.
Servicing contracts for borrowers in the JPMorgan Chase portfolio remain unchanged, and the borrowers don’t need to take any action at this time, Navient said. The company plans to shift the loans to its servicing platforms in the future and anticipates providing additional information at that time.
Details of the transaction and plans for additional acquisitions came as Navient battles a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau lawsuit that accused the company of systematically failing student loan borrowers by providing incorrect payment information, processing payments incorrectly and failing to act when borrowers complained.
Coordinated with the January CFPB action, the attorneys general of Illinois and Washington filed separate actions that accused Navient of putting student borrowers into costly subprime loans that the company knew would fail.
Navient has denied the allegations. On Wednesday, Remondi pushed back against public perceptions and media reports critical of…